NSF Plant Biology Fellowships

Brian H. Taylor BRIAN at BIO.TAMU.EDU
Wed Mar 23 18:29:44 EST 1994

    As a former NSF Plant Biology Fellow, I'd like to add my two 
cents to the current debate.  Having done my postdoc abroad, I can 
see both sides of the foreign requirement issue.  It certainly does 
broaden one's perspective to work overseas, but I think the lab you 
go to has more of an effect than the fact that it's overseas.  A 
reasonable compromise might be to look at the overall quality of the 
science proposed and the individuals involved first, and rate the 
location second.  You never know, that postdoc might not come back.

    One thing I might add to the anonymous former Fellow's comments 
about the stipend is that Fellows overseas often have an advantage in 
that they may not have to pay taxes to either the US or host 
government.  Tax treaties covering foreign nationals working overseas 
usually have a exclusion limit well above anything a postdoc will 
ever make.  You might also get a boost from changes in the currency 
exchange, but this can also cut your stipend considerably if it 
goes the wrong way.

    Finally, I'd like to say that if you're going to send people 
overseas, during their postdoc is a good time to do it.  Most 
graduate students have their hands full with figuring out how a lab 
works without the added complexity of being in a foreign country, and 
most older folks have complications with kids and spouse's jobs.  
That's one element I'd leave as is. 

Brian H. Taylor                         *
Dept. of Biology, Texas A&M University  *  When we try to pick out
College Station, TX  77843-3258         *  anything by itself, we
                                        *  find it hitches to every-
Phone:  (409) 845-7754                  *  thing in the universe.
FAX:    (409) 845-2891                  *             John Muir

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